It’s been looked at and reviewed at a few places, but a nice bit-sized expansion of a venerable game formula that’s recently come out under the radar is Wizorb. Available on PC, Mac, and Linux, it’s also probably one of the more professional-looking games on Xbox Live Indie Games.
Basically, Wizorb is a Breakout clone with RPG elements and old school sprite-based graphics. Breakout has always been one of my favorite time-wasters, and the addition of money to spend, spells to use, and bars to fill can’t hurt along with its attractive art style.
Even with the onset of downloadable gaming I still think it’s too seldom we get to see a game that makes 8-bit (roughtly)-style graphics look good on a 1080p screen, and Wizorb shows that off straight from the opening logos. It’s not just the characters and environments either. This goes right down to the menu screens, options, and plotline exposition which all display on the pixilated pages of a tome.
The RPG enhancements to the Breakout formula that make up the game basically amount to being able to use magic abilities while the ball is in play, as well as collecting items from the blocks. Spells like gaining a measure of control over the ball really come in handy for getting around pesky corners on some of the more complex boards. Bonuses like hidden shops and bonus boards feel really cool too.
The game is split up into worlds, the starting area being a town you must help rebuild with money earned in each level. This adds a nice sort of Super Mario Bros. 3 structure to Wizorb, but I have to say that things can seriously drag on – the first world having 13 stages.
I bought the Windows version on Steam after trying out the Xbox Live demo (I think the official website has a PC demo) and I honestly prefer playing this game with a mouse. Another rare thing about Wizorb is how playable it is with literally just the mouse. Even the town exploration handles like a CRPG – clicking to move your character (regrettably not with the same quality of path finding).
I think that’s the final quality that makes Wizorb such a great timewaster. I question the need for such a thing on a desktop or a console (many people don’t however), but I see this as the perfect game to install on a laptop. An iOS version might be an even better fit.
- Yeah yeah yeah Hunger Games, but don’t forget about The Raid: Redemption also coming out today… if it’s showing anywhere near you.
- I couple nights ago in Gears 3 I’m pretty sure I saw a mauler piggyback on top of another mauler to get over one of my barriers. It didn’t just happen, it was kind of like a glitch. Two of them were pushing up against the barrier in a single file, and one just appeared on top of the other, and then in front of it.
- Even if BioWare hadn’t been planning epilogue DLC for Mass Effect 3, you gotta admit a market for it has emerged now.